Asking questions is usually the way we find out the answer to something.
Not asking questions is the difference between knowing and not knowing.
Knowing is power!
Why is it, that when Dental Offices answer the phone, they focus on the patient knowing everything?
Don’t we also need to know about the person calling our Dental Office?
We think that when a patient asks a question we have to answer immediately with the information they seek. You do want to make sure you answer all patient questions on a call but why do we just blurt it all out straight away before we have asked any of our own questions?
We do want to be polite and helpful on the phone and we may not know the caller.
I believe that too many Dental Offices focus on an oversupply of information to their patients. We are asked a question and before we find out anything about the caller, we provide information.
How much does a crown cost?
Are you open on Saturdays?
Is the Dentist a woman?
Do you have parking?
Answering questions straightaway also means the caller’s question has been answered and they can end the call and hang up with no appointment made.
When the caller asks a question they often ask the question they believe is important to ask first.
Is the question we ask first the most important question to know the answer to?
It may not be.
I train teams to not be afraid to answer a question with a question:
Q. “How much does crown cost?”
A. “Has something happened to your tooth?”
It can take a little time to get used to asking questions. Some Dental Office teams feel that they are interrogating the caller when they ask questions.
To overcome the feeling that you are interrogating the caller, why not ask the caller if it is OK to ask a few questions first.
Most callers will say yes!
You now have the caller’s permission to ask them questions.
Asking questions will provide you with a better understanding of the caller’s dental needs and problems. Telling the caller straight away that you have no parking often does not give you an opportunity to start asking questions.
Start to focus on the type of questions that you will ask callers rather than all the information you are giving them.
Be mindful that there are questions and there are questions.
Ask questions that help you get to know what the caller really needs, what their level of concern and urgency is and ask questions that get the caller thinking a bit more about why they need to see the Dentist.
You always want the last question on a call to be:
“Would you prefer a morning or afternoon appointment?”
This blog will feature simple practical ideas that are easy to implement tomorrow in your Dental Office, impacting immediately on your Patients’ Dental Phone Experiences, and ultimately, improving your practice profitability.
At present I have availability for four new private clients. For more information on how I can improve your Dental Office’s Phone Numbers contact me, Jayne Bandy at jayne@theDPE.com